Intro to data elements

Workbooks support three element types: control elements (filters),Β  UI elements such as buttons and images, and data elements. Data elements are elements built directly from a data source. They include tables, pivot tables, and visualizations.

Although each type of element displays data in a different way, the underlying data is always column-based.

Screenshot of a workbook with 2 KPI single value charts, a line chart with a legend, a regular table, and a pivot table.


  • To create a data element, you must have Can Edit access to the individual workbook, and be in Edit mode.
  • You can see elements in View and Explore modes; see Workbook modes.

Creating elements from data sources

Each workbook can contain multiple elements sourced from a variety of data sources. You can add new data sources at any time and are not restricted to a single source per workbook or workbook page. An element's data can be sourced from cloud data warehouse (CDW) tables, Sigma datasets, uploaded CSVs, written SQL, or other workbook data elements.


To upload CSVs or write custom SQL, you must be assigned an account type with the Upload CSV or Write SQL permission enabled. See Account types.

Effects of upstream changes

If a data source is modified, any dependent elements may be affected. For example, if Element B uses Element A as a data source, removing a column from Element A immediately makes that column inaccessible for Element B.

For more details, see Create a data element.

About editing elements

When you edit elements in a workbook, additional functionality is available.

Working with the editor panel

When an element is selected, its configuration is automatically displayed in the workbook's editor panel. A data element's view in this panel displays all of the element's available columns.

Workbook with the editing panel for a selected visualization highlighted, showing options to change the chart type from a Bar chart to another type, specify the column for the X-axis, column for the y-axis and a checkbox to aggregate values selected. Some visualization options are listed under MARKS and all columns are listed under the COLUMNS section.

By default, all columns are listed under the COLUMNS section. To configure your element, move columns to other sections listed in the panel, using either the section's + menu or dragging and dropping the column.

Gif showing a drag and drop of the column from the list of all columns to the X-axis for a bar chart, and another column to the y-axis section.

To view, change, or transform a data source for an element, select the element and then select the caret icon at the bottom of the editor panel.

Maximizing data elements

When viewing, exploring, or editing a workbook, all data elements are minimized by default to display multiple elements in the canvas. You can maximize any data element to focus on its details and explore the underlying data.

When a visualization or pivot table element is maximized, it expands to the full width of the workbook page and displays the element's underlying data table. Because the element and underlying data are inherently linked, changes applied to one are automatically reflected in the other.

When a table element is maximized, it expands to fill the entire workbook page. The underlying data isn't displayed in a supplemental table because it's already exposed in the table element itself.


Data elements can be maximized in any workbook mode (View, Explore, or Edit), but changes can only be made in Explore and Edit modes.

For more information, see Maximize or minimize a data element.